VISITING to Raigmore Hospital has been temporarily suspended as of this evening and a third ward has been closed to new admissions due to symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting.
Ward 2A, which was closed last night, currently has six patients with symptoms. It joins Wards 2C and 7C which were closed earlier in the week. Ward 2C currently has 22 patients affected while Ward 7C has 19 affected. Norovirus has been confirmed on both these wards.
Due to the high number of norovirus cases within the hospital and out in the community it has been agreed to take the decision to suspend visiting to the hospital to try and prevent, as much as possible, any more norovirus outbreaks.
Dr Chin Lim, consultant microbiologist for NHS Highland, explained this decision has been taken to try and reduce the incidence of norovirus within the hospital.
He said: “We have taken the decision today to suspend all visiting at Raigmore Hospital on a temporary basis.
“We currently have a high number of patients in hospital with symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting and we also know it is found in the community. By reducing the amount of traffic coming in to the hospital we hope that will reduce the risk of any further outbreaks of Norovirus.”
Iona McGauran, lead nurse for Raigmore Hospital, said: “We have a responsibility to make things safe and we know that norovirus is being brought into the hospital.
“We are asking members of the public not to come in to hospital to visit any ward however, there will be exceptions to that rule, such as an emergency situation, which can be arranged by prior arrangement with the nurse in charge. Hospital staff will of course be very happy to talk to visitors on the phone so they can get updates on how their relatives are.
“We appreciate your understanding for why we have had to take this decision and would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.”